Peter Brannen of the Martha’s Vineyard Gazzette wrote a great piece on the drastic decline in striped bass stocks that has state and federal officials scrambling to protect the fish, but many recreational fishermen say the government isn’t moving fast enough.
“It’s really scary,” said Cooper (Coop) Gilkes 3rd, owner of Coop’s Bait and Tackle shop in Edgartown, who has seen the haul from the annual June catch-and-release striper tournament fall dramatically. “At one point we had somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 fish weighed in on one night. Last year there were 100 and it’s like a staircase going all the way down to last year. It’s just dropped every year.”
Last year, Mr. Gilkes said the annual springtime sea worm hatch in the Island’s coastal ponds — an event that historically attracts stripers by the hundreds — had “just about failed” after years of under-performance.
“It’s mind-boggling that we could get to this point with everybody watching,” he said.
Read the rest of the article here.